By Our reporter
The Uganda Wildlife Authority has disbursed 3.1Bn shillings to 13 Districts including Kanungu, Rukungiri, Mitoma, Rubirizi, Ibanda, Kitagwenda, Kamwenge, Bundibujo, Kabalore, and Kasese Districts as Revenue sharing from UWA for Queen Elizabeth National Park.
This follows the sh3.4b tourism cash from Government that was received on 14 Jun 2022. The money is a conditional grant from UWA.
The districts receive their share according to size of land touching the National Parks, the size of the population, and the number of visitors to each district per year.
The money is to be spent on household and community projects that contribute to the alleviation of the human-wildlife conflict and improve the livelihoods of households living around the protected area.
Presiding over the handover of the cheques to leaders of the districts, Col. Tom Butime, the Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities minister, explained that the local communities that live next to these resources do not only keep guard of them but also suffer the cost of conservation.
According to UWA ED Sam Mwandha, a total of sh11b will go to the district local governments and this makes one-quarter of revenues disbursed to all communities around UWA-managed protected areas.
He advised leaders to ensure that the funds are appropriately used to have an impact on ground, especially amongst the communities that suffer the cost of conservation.
The arrangement of giving part of the revenue from protected areas back to communities was started in 2005, according to UWA.
Under the arrangement, 20% of gate collections are given back to host communities as one of the many ways of recognizing local communities as stakeholders in ensuring protection of wildlife both inside and outside the country’s protected area.
In attendance were magistrates, Chief Magistrates, RSA, RDC, DPC, RPC CAO’S and LCV Chairpersons